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Subject: Eureka! I've Found A Lost Valley Filler? rss

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Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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My wife recently found this game at a thrift store for $2, and she said that Gold looked like the type of game I played and has nice bits (meeples she actually called them) and indeed she was right. We played the game last night for the first time. The box had everything except except the nice train dice and the rules (which I pulled off of BGG).

Now I'm a sucker for exploration games (check my microbadge) regardless of how simple or complex they are and Gold seemed like a faster version of Lost Valley or Goldand in an abstract kind of way (a good thing).

I read the rules as we started out and there are up to six players, and each starts from a small town (Gold City) and proceeds to strike out into the backcountry to strike it rich. Players must find gold and bring it back to their house for it to count as VP at the end of the game. To accomplish this task, players roll a die and move that many spaces (hexes). A roll of a 1 brings a nice wooden train one space closer to the city. When the train arrives (about 15-20 spaces) the game is over. The game can also end when all the chits are discovered on the board. The chits can have gold in the amount of 1-5 or nothing or a bandit, and are placed on specific spaces all around the board. Bandits have numbers and players must roll above the bandit's number to defeat him, in which case he is brought back to town for 2$ at games end. If you lose to the bandit he stay on the board and other players can try and fight him to get his money (everything you had when you lost!) Players can also gun fight each other in the same way as the bandit to take each other’s cash.

There are also 3 lakes with rafts. Players can take the raft across the lake but it remains where it lands and others can use it later. This method really helps speed around the board to get gold.

GamePlay
The essence of the game is a press your luck affair. After you find 5 gold do you press on or return for 5pts? Bandits can be good or bad, slowing you down, robbing you blind, or providing additional points. My first game felt much like a simpler Lost Valley, and I ended up beating my wife 23-20, as she was on her way back to town with 4 more gold and the win! The game took about 15-25 minutes and was FUN. She was up for playing again and agreed it might be a good one to use with our lighter gaming friends. I'll also be bringing it to our serious Eurogame club night as a interesting 6 player filler. I think the options for raiding other players would make the 6 person dynamic pretty interesting.

variants- I'm in a game designing mood this year and I've already thought of variants that would allow players to bid future gold hauls on a pistol(+1 vs robbers/players), horse (+1 movement), gold pan(+1 gold per 3 gold returned), spyglass (turn over 1 adjacent chit), sheriff (+3VP per bandit) etc that could be used during gameplay.

In Conclusion...
All in all Gold/Eureka is a delightfully simple, fast, appealing, and interesting game for the "roll and move genre", with plenty of potential for simple variants and modifications. It was worth the $2 purchase tag and perhaps a lot more...
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Thomas Murray
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The game is fun playing against the family as is but I like your idea about the added variants.I'm going to give them a try and see how it flies.
 
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